Power Line Proposed For Under Lake Champlain

Oct 31, 2013

An electric transmission company wants to build a 150-mile power line from the Canadian border to the southern Vermont town of Ludlow. The developer says it will bury the line under Lake Champlain and along the land route.

Donald Jessome is president and CEO of TDI New England. He said the power line will carry 1,000 megawatts of Canadian hydropower to markets in New England.

“We’re doing this through a technology called high voltage direct current and that’s important because it allows us to bury the project 100 percent,” he said.

The power line would be privately financed. TDI estimates it would save energy consumers $2 billion in its first 10 years of operation.

Jessome said the company wants to meet the growing demand for cleaner sources of electricity.

“There’s just a huge need for low carbon-footprint energy to come into the market,” he said. “There’s a need for new generation, for fuel diversity. There’s a large concentration of natural gas generation today in the New England market and certainly that has been a concern for both the governors and the independent system operator.” 

At its end-point in Ludlow, the line would connect to a Vermont Electric Power Company (VELCO) substation. From there, the power could be sent elsewhere in the New England grid.

The company hopes to apply for permits next year, and complete the project by 2019.